The Virginia Driver’s Manual will help you learn and

understand safe driving practices. Study this manual to prepare for the knowledge test, obtain a Virginia driver’s license and become a safe driver. The information contained in this manual should be used as a general guide to the motor vehicle laws but not as a substitute for the Code of Virginia, which contains the laws that govern Virginia drivers and vehicles. If you are learning to drive, this manual will give you information you need to study for the knowledge exam. If you already have a Virginia driver’s license, review this manual for new laws or rules of the road. Driving is a privilege, not a right. Your driver’s license carries with it a great responsibility to be courteous of other drivers on the roadways and follow state and federal motoring laws. This manual is also available on the DMV website, www.dmvNOW.com. DMV offers the Virginia Driver’s Manual in an audio format for Virginians with special needs. The audio version is available at www.dmvNOW.com.

Virginia Driver’s Manual: Table of Contents

Section 1 – Testing

Two-part knowledge exam .................................................3 Road skills test ...................................................................4 Vision screening .................................................................4 Vision standards ....................................................4

Traffic signals......................................................................5 Lane use signals .....................................................6 Traffic signs ........................................................................6 Sign shapes............................................................6 Regulatory or guide signs .......................................7 Warning signs ........................................................8 Work zones ...........................................................10 Pavement markings ............................................................10 Painted curbs .....................................................................12

Section 2 – Signals, Signs and Pavement Markings

Section 3 – Safe Driving

Hand position ....................................................................13 Speed limits .......................................................................14 Stopping ............................................................................14 Yielding the right-of-way ....................................................15 Roundabouts .....................................................................15 Changing lanes ..................................................................16 Passing .............................................................................16 Over-correcting .................................................................17 Turning .............................................................................17 U-turns .............................................................................17 Turn signals ........................................................................17 Maintaining a space cushion ..............................................18 Following distance .................................................18 Searching ...........................................................................18

Blind spots .........................................................................19 Sharing the road ................................................................19 Pedestrians ............................................................19 Bicycles .................................................................19 Mopeds .................................................................19 Motorcycles...........................................................19 Light rail ................................................................20 Low speed vehicles ...............................................20 Trucks, tractor-trailers, buses and RVs ....................20 Light to medium trailers .........................................20 Backing .............................................................................21 Parking .............................................................................21 Visibility .............................................................................21 Lights .................................................................................21 Hazardous conditions ........................................................21 Night driving .........................................................21 Fog ........................................................................22 Rain ......................................................................22 Snow .....................................................................22 Dangerous driving behaviors ..............................................22 Aggressive driving ..................................................22 Distracted driving ..................................................22 Drowsy driving ......................................................23 Drinking and driving ..............................................23 Traffic crashes ....................................................................24 Traffic stops ........................................................................24

Section 4 – Seat Belts, Airbags, and Child Safety Seats

Seat belts ...........................................................................25 Air bags .............................................................................25 Child safety seats ...............................................................26

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Table of Contents

License suspension ............................................................27 License revocation .............................................................27 Conviction-related suspensions and revocations .................27 Other DMV requirements, suspensions and revocations .....28 Driver Improvement Program ................................28 Medical review program ........................................28 Insurance monitoring program ...............................29 Suspension for failing to satisfy child support-related requirements ................................29 Alcohol and the law ...........................................................29 Administrative License Suspension .........................29 Open alcohol containers in vehicles ......................29 Transporting children while under the influence of alcohol/drugs .....................................................29 Vehicle impoundment ...........................................30 Restitution .............................................................30 Alcohol related violations and penalties involving persons under age 21 .............................30

Section 5 – Penalties

Section 6 – License Types

Learner’s permit ................................................................31 Driver’s license ..................................................................31 Commercial driver’s license ...............................................32 School bus driver’s license .................................................32 Motorcycle learner’s permit ...............................................32 Motorcycle driver’s license.................................................32 International driver’s license ..............................................32

Receiving your license by mail ...........................................33 Address Changes................................................................33 New to Virginia ..................................................................33 Titles, registrations, license plates, decals ............................33 Safety inspections ..............................................................34 Insurance requirements .....................................................34 Applying to register to vote ................................................34 Organ, eye and tissue donation..........................................34

Section 7 – Other Important Information

Section 8 – Sample Knowledge Exam

Sample exam .....................................................................35

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If you fail the exam and you are:  Under age 18 – by law you must wait a full 15 days before you can retake the exam. A DMV representative will tell you which tests you need to take.00 fee if you retake the exam within 15 days. Exam questions are taken from information in this manual.Section 1: Testing a vision screening and may include a two-part knowledge exam and a road skills test. and safe driving. Part two tests your general knowledge with multiple choice questions. if you fail the exam on January 1. Germany or France. The exam may be taken only once per business day. An audio version of the exam is available and the exam is also offered in Spanish. S. you may request to have the exam translated.  Age 18 or older – you must pay a $2. Canada. The two-part knowledge exam is given on a computer and tests your knowledge of traffic signs. motor vehicle laws. If necessary. state. You must correctly answer all ten traffic sign questions in part one of the exam before you can take part two of the exam. You must answer at least 80 percent of these questions correctly to pass part two. For example. you will not be able to take it a fourth time until you complete and pass the classroom part of driver education at a V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 3 . the earliest you can take the exam again is January 17. Tests will include In this section you’ll learn about:  Two-part knowledge exam  Road skills test  Vision screening  Vision standards Two-Part Knowledge Exam You will need to take the knowledge exam if you do not hold a valid driver’s license from another U. If you fail the driver’s license knowledge exam three times.

private or commercial driving school. If you fail the vision screening. registration card and decals. S. Vision Standards Services for Persons With Disabilities Customers with special needs or who require special help with applications or testing should tell a DMV staff member at any DMV location. Vision Screening To screen your vision. you can take the road skills test again. horn. you cannot:  get help while taking the exam  help another person taking the exam  try to get test questions or answers before the exam  give another person exam questions or answers  use a cell phone during the exam A sample knowledge exam is in Section 8 of this manual and at www. To have this restriction removed after having laser surgery to correct your vision. read the DMV publication Driver’s Licensing Information for Bioptic Telescopic Lense Wearers (MED 44) available at www. The screening shows whether your vision meets Virginia’s standards to safely drive. the road skills test will be given by a DMV staff member. The completion date for the classroom part must be after the date you failed the knowledge exam the third time. Once you successfully complete the in-vehicle part and give DMV your certificate of completion. If you are home schooled. lights. The vehicle must have a valid safety inspection sticker. and  100 degrees. you may be asked to visit an eye care professional. you can take the knowledge exam again. If you fail the road skills test at DMV three times. or better. If you need to wear glasses or contact lenses to pass the vision screening. horizontal vision.Section 1: Testing driver training school approved by DMV or the Department of Education. mirrors and speedometer. or better. For applicants age 19 or older. you must visit a DMV customer service center and pass the vision screening without wearing glasses or contact lenses or submit a Vision Screening Report (MED 4). You must provide a vehicle for the road skills test. Road Skills Test You will need to take the road skills test if you do not hold a valid driver’s license from another U. The vision screening is not a medical exam. horizontal vision in one or both eyes. If you have vision in only one eye. Your license will display an X for this restriction. you must have horizontal vision of at least 30 degrees or better when looking toward your nose and 40 degrees or better when looking toward your temple. or comparable measurement that shows a field of vision within this range. and  70 degrees. refer to the Home-Schooled In-Car Driver Education Information Sheet (HS 3) for more information about taking the road skills test. state. A daylight driving only restricted license permits you to drive only during the period of time beginning a half-hour after sunrise and ending a half-hour before sunset. Germany or France. working brakes. or comparable measurement that shows a field of vision within this range. When you successfully complete the classroom part and give DMV your certificate of completion. you must wear them when you drive. Only the applicant and the DMV staff member are allowed in the vehicle during the road skills test. Driving – restricted to daylight hours only  20/70 or better vision in one or both eyes. Driver’s license – unrestricted  20/40 or better vision in one or both eyes. 4 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L .com. the road skills test will be given as part of the driver education course taken at a public.dmvNOW. When testing. turn signals. The completion date for the in-vehicle part must be after the date you failed the road test the third time. For applicants under 19. The test may be taken only once per business day. you will not be able to take it a fourth time until you complete and pass the in-vehicle part of driver education at a driver training school approved by DMV or the Department of Education. license plates.dmvNOW. Bioptic telescopic lenses: If you wear bioptic telescopic lenses. safety belts.com or contact DMV at (804) 497-7100. Canada. a DMV staff member will ask you to look into a machine and read a series of letters or numbers.

Traffic Signals Traffic signals apply to drivers. bicycles and mopeds. Before turning. come to a complete stop before you reach the intersection. bicycles and mopeds.” Left turn on red: You may turn left at a red light if you are on a one-way street and turning left onto another one-way street. moped-riders and pedestrians. always follow the officer’s direction. Before turning. Look both ways and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other traffic. you must come to a complete stop.Section 2: Signals. Be sure to check for less visible vehicles such as motorcycles. It is illegal to avoid these traffic controls by cutting through a parking lot or field. Be sure to check for less visible vehicles such as motorcycles. you must come to a complete stop. Remain stopped unless turns are allowed on red. stop line or crosswalk. Look both ways and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other traffic. Signs and Pavement Markings control to provide a smooth. Right turn on red: At some intersections you may turn right while the traffic light is red. Traffic signals. motorcycle riders. signs and pavement markings are used for traffic In this section you’ll learn about:  Traffic signals  Traffic signs  Pavement markings  Painted curbs Obey all signs and signals unless directed by a police officer. bicyclists. You may not turn right if signs are posted at the intersection that read “No Turn on Red. orderly flow of traffic. V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 5 . It is important to understand and obey them. Red light: At a red light.

If you get to the intersection at the same time as other vehicles. Do not speed up to beat the light. Red X: Never drive in a lane marked with a red X signal. Flashing yellow light: A flashing yellow light means slow down and proceed with caution. If a traffic light changes from red to green while a pedestrian is in the street. If you are turning. Octagon (Stop): This eight-sided shape always means stop. pedestrians or bicyclists safely pass before you proceed. you may be able to make out only the shape of a sign. Be prepared to stop. stop. Flashing red light: At a flashing red light. Be ready to stop. Triangle (Yield): You must slow down as you come to the intersection. the driver on the left must yield to the driver on the right. At a green arrow. Yellow X: A yellow X signal means that you should move out of the lane as soon as safely possible. allow the pedestrian to cross the street before turning.” At these intersections all vehicles on all roads leading into the intersection must stop. Signs and Pavement Markings Note: If you are traveling in another state. such as heavy fog. They provide additional lanes for heavy morning and evening traffic. Flashing yellow lights are at locations with higher-than-normal hazardous conditions. At a railroad crossing. Red arrow: Virginia law prohibits right and left turns at red arrow lights. If you have not entered the intersection. Rectangle (Regulatory or Guide): Vertical signs generally give instructions or tell you the law. In poor visibility conditions. you must yield the right-of-way to vehicles coming from the other direction and pedestrians in the intersection. you may go in the direction of the arrow if the way is clear. Diamond (Warning): These signs warn you of special conditions or hazards ahead. You may go when the way is clear. you must come to a complete stop even if you don’t see a train. go through it. pedestrian crosswalk or curb. 6 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . Green light or arrow: At a green light. Slow down and drive with caution. You must come to a complete stop at the sign. you may go if the way is clear. Let any vehicles. Lane use signals indicate lanes where you can and cannot drive during different hours of the day. Green Arrow: You are permitted to drive in a lane marked with a green arrow signal. stop line. If you are already in the intersection. make sure you know its laws for right and left turns at red and red arrow lights. come to a complete stop and yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians. At some intersections you’ll find a sign beneath the stop sign that reads “All Way” or “4 Way. Wait for any vehicle or pedestrian to clear the way. These signals are used often to reverse a lane’s direction. Traffic Signs The shape of a traffic sign communicates important information about the sign’s message. Yellow light or arrow: A yellow light or arrow are cautions warning that the light is about to change.Section 2: Signals. Horizontal signs may give directions or information.

Regulatory or guide signs inform you Left Turn Yield on Green: This sign is used with a traffic signal. snow and ice. median or barrier is ahead. Roundabout: These signs indicate a circular intersection with an island in the center is ahead. In Virginia. One Way: Traffic flows only in the direction of the arrow. Do Not Pass: This sign marks the beginning of a no passing zone. Remember that a red circle with a slash means NO — the symbol inside the circle tells you what is prohibited. Do Not Enter – Wrong Way: These signs mean you cannot drive in that direction. Do not make a right turn when you see this sign. Wait for the signal to turn green. you must obey their instructions. Two signs may be used together to show the actual location of the crosswalk. During rain. No Right Turn: Right turns are illegal. of the law. It tells you that the traffic turning left at a green light does not have the right-ofway and must yield to traffic coming from the other direction. No Left Turn: Left turns are against the law. No U-Turn: U-turns are illegal. V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 7 . Speed Limit: These signs tell you the maximum legal speed that you may drive on the road where the sign is posted when weather conditions are good. Traffic in the lane must turn in the direction of the arrow. you may receive a ticket for driving too fast for the conditions even if you are driving at or less than the posted speed limit. Stop and look for oncoming traffic. Do not make a U-turn when you see this sign. Disabled Parking: Parking spaces marked with these signs are reserved for people with disabled parking permits. Lane Use Control: These signs are used where turns are required or where special turning movements are permitted for specific lanes. Also called rotaries or traffic circles. You may not pass cars ahead of you in your lane. If you drive past these signs you are going in the wrong direction and could get into a head-on crash with vehicles headed your way. Keep to the side indicated by the arrow. these intersections may have one or more lanes. (Signs may also be bright yellow-green. Signs and Pavement Markings Pentagon (School Zone/School Crossing): This five-sided shape marks school zones and warns you about school crossings. even if the way is clear. Signs may display horizontal lines indicating the point at which a crosswalk exists. Entering traffic must yield the right-ofway to traffic already in the circle. High Occupancy Vehicle: These signs indicate lanes reserved for buses and vehicles with a driver and one or more passengers as specified on the sign. U-turns are considered as two left turns and are illegal if this sign is posted. then proceed with caution. Keep Right: A traffic island. Cautiously turn around.) No Turn on Red: You may not turn on the red light.Section 2: Signals.

Slow down. Merge: Two lanes of traffic moving in the same direction are about to become one. Advisory Speed: This sign indicates the maximum safe speed for a highway exit. Signs may display horizontal lines indicating the point where a crosswalk exists. A second sign with an arrow may show the actual location of the crosswalk. Do not proceed if your vehicle is taller than the height shown on the sign. Check your brakes. (Signs may also be bright yellow-green. Drivers in both lanes are responsible for merging safely. even if the way is clear. Slow down and be prepared to stop. The speed limit is usually 25 MPH. Do not brake hard or change direction suddenly. Increase the distance between your car and the one ahead of you. Traffic goes in both directions. Watch out for children crossing the street or playing.) No Passing Zone: This sign marks the beginning of a no passing zone. reduce your speed. You may not pass cars ahead of you in your lane. Open joints on bridges or ramps could cause a motorcyclist to lose control of the motorcycle. Drive with caution. (Signs may also be bright yellow-green. Signs and Pavement Markings Warning signs alert you to possible hazards ahead. A second sign with an arrow may show the actual location of the crosswalk. Divided Highway Begins: The highway ahead is split into two separate roadways by a median or divider and each roadway is one-way.) School Zone/School Crossing: Slow down. Pedestrian Crossing: Watch for people entering a crosswalk or crossing your path. Lane Reduction: The right lane ends soon. A second sign with an arrow may show the actual location of the bike crossing. Drivers in the left lane should allow other vehicles to merge smoothly. Signs may display horizontal lines showing the point where a crosswalk exists.) Open Joints: Slow down. Divided Highway Ends: The highway ahead no longer has a median or divider. Obey signals from any crossing guards. Signal Ahead: Traffic signals are ahead. Slippery When Wet: When pavement is wet. Keep right. Be ready to yield the right-of-way.Section 2: Signals. Keep right. Bicycle Crossing/Bike Path: Bicycles regularly cross or ride beside traffic in this area. be alert and be ready to stop. Slow down and watch for other signs or signals that may follow. Drivers in the right lane must merge left when space opens up. 8 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . Expansion Joints: This sign is used when a joint across lanes creates a bump or is wide enough to cause loss of traction in wet weather. (Signs may also be bright yellowgreen. Crossroad: A four-way intersection is ahead. Low Clearance Sign: The overpass ahead has a low clearance. Be ready to stop. Slow down and be ready to stop. Hill: A steep grade is ahead. Deer Crossing: Deer cross the roadway in this area.

Railroad Crossing: Advance warning signs are placed before a railroad crossing. Right Curve – Side Road: The road ahead curves right and a side road joins from the left within the curve. Right and Left Curves: The road ahead curves right. Y Intersection: You must bear either right or left ahead. even when the lights are not flashing. On all curves. Be sure to give the posted crossing number so that the hazard can be identified correctly. Sharp Right and Left Turns: Slow down and be prepared for the road ahead to turn sharply right. Remain stopped until the gates are raised and the lights stop flashing. Railroad Crossbuck and Flashing Lights: Flashing lights may be used with crossbuck signs. | 9 . never start across the tracks. then left. V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L Right Curve with Safe Speed Indicator: The road ahead curves right. Be especially alert at multi-track crossings because a second train could be approaching from the opposite direction. Winding Road: The road ahead winds with a series of turns or curves. Railroad Crossbuck: This sign is a warning of a railroad crossing. and the lights are no longer flashing. T Intersection: The roadway you are traveling on ends ahead. listen. Signs and Pavement Markings Side Road: A road joins from the right. Slow down to the safe speed limit indicated. Sharp Right Turn: Slow down and be prepared for a sharp right turn in the road ahead. listen. When approaching railroad tracks. Flashing Lights and Gate: Gates are used with flashing light signals at some crossings. the sign below the crossbuck will indicate the number of tracks at the crossing. may be painted on the pavement at the approach to some crossings. Trains may approach the crossing at any time and from either direction. then left. Crossbuck. Unless you can clear the tracks completely. These signs warn you to look. slow down for better control. This will allow the rail company to stop or reroute approaching rail traffic until the hazard is removed. Pavement markings. Low Ground Railroad Crossing: A steep slope where the railroad tracks cross the road may cause the bottom of low vehicles to get caught or drag on the tracks. Slow down. Look. consisting of an X and RR. If a dangerous condition exists at a rail crossing. Always stop when the light begins to flash and be alert for approaching trains. be alert. slow down and be prepared to stop for trains. Stop when the lights begin to flash and before the gate lowers. Make sure there is room for your vehicle on the other side of the tracks before proceeding. Railroad Crossbuck and Track Indicator: If there is more than one track. call the number listed on the emergency sign. Signal before turning right or left. the tracks are clear. Note: School buses must always stop at railroad crossings. Slow down and be prepared to stop. Do not proceed until all trains have passed. Be alert for vehicles entering the roadway you are traveling on.Section 2: Signals. Do not attempt to drive around the lowered gate. Be alert for vehicles entering the roadway you are traveling on. slow down and be prepared to stop for trains.

Broken yellow center lines mean that passing on the left is allowed in either direction when the way ahead is clear. Blue markings show parking spaces for persons with disabilities. Be prepared to adjust your speed or position when you see a vehicle with one of these signs. They may be used alone or in combinations. Don’t change lanes until you are completely clear of the work zone. blue. They use STOP/SLOW paddles and red flags to direct traffic through the work zone and to let other workers or construction vehicles cross the road. don’t hesitate. Bump.virginiadot. Message Boards: You may see portable or permanent message boards along roadways. 10 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . When driving near the devices. As you leave the work zone. must display these signs when using a public highway. especially motorcyclists. Slow down. keep your vehicle in the middle of the lane and obey the posted speed limit. Slow Moving Vehicle: Vehicles that travel at 25 MPH or less. If your car stalls on the tracks. Always obey any directions posted on these message boards. Road Construction Ahead – Detour: These signs indicate a change in the traffic pattern or route ahead. such as farm equipment and horse-drawn vehicles. concrete barriers. If you are convicted of exceeding the speed limit in a highway work zone. Signs and Pavement Markings Traffic Control Devices: Barricades. Get out of the car right away and run diagonally away from the tracks in the direction of the oncoming train. stay in your lane and maintain your speed. Pavement Markings Road markings guide and warn drivers as well as regulate traffic. They provide information about traffic. Markings may be red. the color orange marks a work zone and means slow down. Rough Road. Remember.org. road. vertical signs. you may be fined up to $500. In a work zone. the lives of highway construction workers depend on drivers like you obeying the posted speed limits. Each has a different meaning. such as loose gravel or road construction. flowing in opposite directions. Flashing Arrow Panels: Large flashing arrow panels or flashing message signs in work zones direct drivers to proceed into different traffic lanes and inform them that part of the road ahead is closed. Red markings or reflectors on the pavement show areas not to be entered or used. drums and cones are the most common devices used to guide drivers safely through work zones. Unusual or potentially dangerous conditions are ahead. or yellow-green shirts or jackets. Yellow center lines mean two-way traffic. visit the Virginia Department of Transportation website at www. or Uneven Lanes: These signs are used when certain road conditions. Flaggers: Flaggers are construction workers who normally wear orange or yellow vests.Section 2: Signals. weather or other hazardous conditions. yellow or white. affect the roadway surface and create potentially difficult conditions for motorists. For information about road conditions or road construction.

On an unmarked two-lane road. You may change lanes with caution. and at other locations where lane changes might be dangerous. You may not cross the lines unless you are making a left turn. Stop lines. Solid white lines also mark the right edge of pavement. Arrows used with white lines indicate which turn may be made from the lane. Many two-lane roads in Virginia do not have lane markings to separate the lanes. Yield line is a line of triangles extending across the roadway that may be used with a yield sign to show the point at which you must yield or stop. you may turn or go straight. you must turn in the direction of the arrow. crosswalks and parking spaces also are marked by white lines. Double solid yellow lines mark the center of the road and separate traffic traveling in two different directions. Passing is not allowed in either direction. but not from the side of the solid line. Make sure that the way is clear. if necessary.Section 2: Signals. Signs and Pavement Markings A broken yellow line alongside a solid yellow line means that passing is allowed from the side of the broken line. V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 11 . Yield ahead symbol is an outline of a triangle painted in the lane before the place where you must yield. If your lane is marked with both a curved and straight arrow. If you are in a lane marked with a curved arrow or a curved arrow and the word ONLY. White lane arrows are curved or straight. Solid white lines show turn lanes and discourage lane changes near intersections. you may pass a slow moving vehicle on the left side if there are no signs prohibiting passing. Broken white lines separate lanes of traffic going in the same direction.

Generally. Check with the locality for specific meanings. they may not travel further than 150 feet in this lane. During heavy traffic periods. This diamond-shaped marking may also indicate that the lane is reserved for use as a bike lane or bus lane. If the center lane is marked by a single broken yellow line on both sides. Signs and Pavement Markings On three-lane roads with traffic moving in both directions. This means that during certain times of the day. HOV lanes are reserved for buses. HOV lanes may also be special lanes separated by a barrier. traffic flows one way. Stay with your car. motorcycles. traffic flows in the opposite direction. vanpools. drivers traveling in either direction may use the lane for making left turns. Road signs show the minimum number of passengers a vehicle must carry (excluding motorcycles and clean fuel vehicles) to use the HOV lanes and the times that HOV restrictions are in effect. they are reversible. During other times of the day. If the lanes are separated by a barrier. However. drivers traveling in either direction may use the center lane for passing. A painted curb means that you must follow special rules to park there. carpools. other high occupancy vehicles. and certain clean special fuel vehicles. the colors on the curb mean: White — Stop only long enough to pick up or drop off passengers.Section 2: Signals. Blue — Parking is reserved for persons with disabilities. If both sides of the center lane are marked by a solid yellow line and a broken yellow line. Red — Do not stop. High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV) lanes are marked on highways by a diamond shape in the center of the lane. stand or park. 12 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . Yellow — Stop only long enough to load or unload. road markings show when drivers may use the center lane for making left turns or for passing.

Avoid gripping it with your palms. and ensure the safety of you. your passengers. You must obey Virginia’s traffic laws. your hands should be at the 8 o’clock and 4 o’clock positions.Section 3: Safe Driving Every time you get behind the wheel. If your steering wheel were a clock. Hold the wheel with your fingers and thumbs. Hand Position Sit straight but relaxed and place your hands on the steering wheel. and other motorists. you accept In this section you’ll learn about:  Hand position  Speed limits  Stopping  Yielding the right-of-way  Roundabouts  Changing lanes  Over-correcting  Turning  U-turns  Turn signals  Maintaining a space cushion  Searching  Blind spots  Sharing the road  Backing  Parking  Visibility  Lights  Hazardous conditions  Dangerous driving behaviors  Traffic crashes  Traffic stops responsibility for your actions. pedestrians and bicyclists on the roadways. V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 13 .

and your mental and physical condition. Reaction distance: The distance your vehicle travels between the time you recognize a problem and the time you apply the brakes.  You must stop for stopped school buses with flashing red lights and an extended stop sign when you approach from any direction on a public or private road. the red vehicles must stop and remain stopped until all children are clear of the roadway and the bus moves again.) Speed limit 65 MPH 55 MPH 35 MPH 25 MPH Stopping You must always stop your vehicle:  before a crosswalk  at all stop signs. You may drive slower than the posted speed. public roads not part of the interstate system Rural rustic roads School. business and residential zones (You are required to travel 25 MPH in a school zone only when indicated by a sign or signal. Perception time: The time it takes you to recognize a hazard. It is illegal to use a radar detector in Virginia. Perception time.  You do not have to stop if you are traveling in the opposite direction on a roadway with a median or barrier dividing the road and the bus is on the opposite side of the median or barrier. Otherwise. visibility. maintain the posted speed. By law. Braking distance: The distance your car travels after you apply the brakes. the condition of your brakes and tires. Stopping Distance Three factors determine the distance that it takes to stop your vehicle: perception time. If you don’t obey a law enforcement officer’s signal to stop and the officer pursues you and is killed as a direct result of the pursuit. you will be guilty of a Class 4 felony. reaction distance and braking distance are affected by weather. Stop and remain stopped until all children are clear and the bus moves again. red traffic lights and flashing red signals  when entering a street or crossing over a sidewalk from a driveway. Maximum speed limit for passenger vehicles and motorcycles (unless posted otherwise) Type of highway or zone Interstate highways in certain rural areas Non-rural interstate highways. For example. and the pavement condition. wet pavement can double your braking distance. Stopping for School Buses In the following pictures.  You must also stop if the bus is loading or unloading children and the signals are not on.Section 3: Safe Driving Speed Limits A speed limit is the maximum legal speed you can travel on a road under ideal conditions. building or parking lot  at railroad crossings with flashing signals  when signaled by flaggers directing traffic  for pedestrians attempting to cross a street  at the direction of a police officer. you must drive slower if conditions such as road construction or bad weather make the posted speed unsafe.  at the scene of a crash in which you are involved When approaching a stop sign and the car in front of you proceeds. reaction distance and braking distance. but it is illegal to drive any faster. alley. 14 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . stop at the sign and proceed when the way is clear. Braking distance is also affected by how fast your vehicle is traveling.

 You must yield to all military convoys.  Drivers entering any intersection or traffic circle must yield to traffic already in it. When approaching a roundabout. If you plan to go straight.  When entering a roadway from a private road or driveway. Roundabouts may have one or more lanes. Violations can result in court suspension of your driver’s license and demerit points on your driving record. However. you must pull over to the edge of the road and stop until the emergency vehicle passes. Other drivers in the procession may follow carefully without stopping and may use hazard lights (flashers) to indicate they are in the procession. Do not cut through. Roundabouts Roundabouts. The driver on the left must yield to the driver on the right.  You may not park within 500 feet of where fire trucks or equipment are stopped answering an alarm. stay to the right as you enter the roundabout. Use your turn signals to indicate where you want to go. never pump antilock brakes. If you are unable to safely change lanes. join or interfere with a funeral procession. rotaries and other circles may have stop signs. stay to the left as you enter the roundabout. If you plan to turn left.  You must yield to funeral processions. Antilock Brakes If your vehicle has antilock brakes. Yielding to Vehicles with Flashing Lights Drivers must take specific actions when they see vehicles with flashing or blinking blue. slow down. Drivers must pay attention and obey the signs. the vehicle that arrives first goes first. level pavement. the lead vehicle in a funeral procession must obey all traffic signs and signals. red. you must immediately yield the right-of-way. Source: Code of Virginia Section 46. Avoid conflict with pedestrians and permit them to cross the street safely. you may stay in either lane (if it is a dual lane circular intersection). Yielding the Right-of-Way Yield also means to stop if you cannot merge safely into the flow of traffic.Section 3: Safe Driving Average stopping distance on dry. fire and rescue vehicles or ambulances approach you from behind your vehicle using a siren.  You must yield for pedestrians who are crossing a street within a clearly marked crosswalk or at an unmarked intersection. flashing lights or both. Remember. V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 15 .  When police. Approaching vehicles – same direction  Never follow an emergency vehicle closer than 500 feet when its lights are flashing. you must change to a lane not next to the emergency vehicle. Examples of yielding the right-of-way:  When two vehicles from different directions arrive at an intersection at different times.  Drivers entering an interstate from an entrance ramp must yield the right-of-way to traffic already on the highway. If you plan to turn right. These requirements do not apply in highway work zones. yellow or white lights on roadways. Approaching vehicles – opposite direction  When emergency vehicles approach you in the opposite lane on an undivided highway. Entering traffic must yield the right-of-way to traffic already in the circle. all vehicles coming to the intersection must stop. be sure that you understand how they work. if you can change lanes safely. Unless led by a police escort. rotaries. Check your vehicle owner’s manual and practice braking before you go out on the road.  If the traffic lights at an intersection are not working. Remember that turns on red are especially hazardous to pedestrians. the driver on the left must allow the driver on the right to go first. circular intersections and traffic circles are all terms for intersections with a circular island in the center. Each road approaching the roundabout is marked with a yield sign and may also have yield line markings on the pavement.  When two vehicles from different directions arrive at the same time at an intersection with no signs or signals.2-880 Stopped vehicles  When approaching a stopped vehicle with flashing lights on a four lane highway. Never cut through or join a military convoy. you must stop and yield to all traffic and pedestrians. reduce your speed and proceed with caution. Safely pull over to the right edge of the road and stop until the emergency vehicle has passed.

always use your turn signals and check traffic to the rear and sides.  when approaching or passing a person riding a bicycle. When driving on a multi-lane highway. Maintain a steady speed or slow down. Use your vehicle’s right turn signal to let drivers around you know what you want to do. Tips for driving safely through a roundabout:  As you approach the roundabout. stay in the right lane if you are driving slower than the traffic around you. quickly glance over your shoulder and check for any vehicles that may be in your blind spot. stay in your lane until you are ready to exit. look for the street and direction signs. you’re breaking the law.  complete the pass before you reach a No Passing zone. Quickly glance over your shoulder and check for any vehicles that may be in your blind spot. reduce speed and pass at least two feet to the left.  it is against the law to exceed the speed limit as you pass. slow down.virginiadot. Then. you may enter the roundabout. More information about driving safely through a roundabout is available at the Virginia Department of Transportation web site at http://www. You may not pass on the right if you must drive off the pavement or main portion of the roadway to get around the other vehicle. Passing When passing another vehicle:  check the traffic ahead of you. use your turn signal to let other drivers know you plan to change lanes. If you’re still in the left lane when you reach the zone. entering or exiting a highway. moped. Check for other drivers who also may be moving into the same lane. or power-assisted bicycle or other device.  While inside the roundabout. passing. check your side and rearview mirrors for traffic approaching you from behind. Expect vehicles to be in blind spots you cannot see in your rearview or side mirrors. 16 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . This will help you know which exit to take. don’t speed up. Whether you are changing lanes. These signs should be posted along the roadside before you reach the roundabout.  you may pass on the right if the vehicle you are passing has signaled and is making a left turn. When being passed. You also must yield to any vehicles already in the roundabout.asp. behind you and in your blind spot before you attempt to pass. Signal and then accelerate to pass.org/info/faq-roundabouts.  When you arrive at the roundabout. When the way is clear.Section 3: Safe Driving Changing Lanes Before changing lanes.  Do not change lanes or take an exit before checking for vehicles that may be continuing through the roundabout in the lane next to you or behind you. Sometimes your entry point will be controlled by a stop or yield sign. or traffic signal. Return to the right lane as soon as you can see the front of the passed vehicle in your rearview mirror. yield the right-ofway to pedestrians and bicyclists. Be cautious because the vehicle you are passing may be blocking your view or blocking the view of other drivers. Just before you begin moving into the other lane.

proceed into the outside or right hand lane traveling in the opposite direction. You should signal at least three or four seconds. yield to any vehicles (including bicycles and pedestrians) approaching from the opposite direction. which is required by law. except on roads with two or more lanes of traffic moving in the same direction  off the pavement or shoulder of the road  when a school bus is stopped to load or unload passengers on a public road (unless a physical barrier or unpaved median separates traffic going in either direction) or on a private road  when a solid line marks the left side of your lane When two vehicles are approaching each other and signaling to turn left. ahead of your turn. Keep your front wheels pointed straight ahead until you are actually going to make the left turn. at intersections or railroad crossings. When making a U-turn. Hand Signals Left Turn Left hand and arm pointing straight out Right Turn Left hand and arm pointing upward Slow or Stop Left hand and arm pointing downward V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 17 . Turn Signals Turning To make a right turn you should be in the lane closest to the curb. Look in all directions.Section 3: Safe Driving Passing is unlawful and unsafe:  on hills. When the way is clear. ahead of the turn. check for No U-Turn or No Left Turn signs. Using your turn signal. Never make a U-turn on a highway. do not panic. In business districts. and yield for approaching traffic. turn on your left-turn signal. cities and towns. Before you make a U-turn. Turn into the lane closest to the curb. A driver should remain alert at all times. Most over-correction crashes are single vehicle crashes and are often preventable. drivers may pull out in front of you. Then brake smoothly before and during the turn. first give the proper turn signal. causing the rear wheels of the vehicle to slide toward the outside of the turn. Over-correcting Over-correcting occurs when the driver turns the steering wheel more sharply than expected. make the left turn. To make a left turn you should be in the furthest left lane possible. 100 feet. This may result in the loss of vehicle control. Gradually reduce your speed. communicates your intended movement to drivers around you. If there is a traffic light or a stop sign at the intersection. When you plan to turn. After you complete the turn or lane change. come to a complete stop before you make the turn. This prevents you from being pushed into oncoming traffic if another vehicle crashes into you from behind. Develop a good habit and use turn signals or hand signals even if no other traffic is on the road. 100 feet. and then change lanes if needed. Look to your left to check the intersection for pedestrians and traffic coming from the other direction. Reduce speed and use extra caution while driving on curved roads. signal three or four seconds. When the way is clear. curves. ahead of the turn. curved or straight. If you veer off the road. turn. Be alert. Be aware that drivers planning to turn into your lane may not know exactly where you will turn. checking the intersection for pedestrians and traffic coming from the opposite direction. U-turns are allowed only at intersections. U-Turns U-turns are not legal everywhere. Signal your intent to turn by using the proper turn signal. Signal your intent to turn by using the proper turn signal. slowly steer back onto the roadway. stop. You should signal at least three to four seconds. be sure the turn signal stops flashing. When you plan to change lanes. or enter or exit a highway. both vehicles should turn in front of each other so that the passenger sides of the vehicles are beside each other. 100 feet. look in the direction you want to go.

Searching Searching means looking at the entire scene for anything that might come into your path. three. driver alertness. Look for exhaust smoke. that equals approximately one block. watch for hidden intersections and driveways. in seconds. In the city. sign. cars or people that might be in the road by the time you reach them. oversized and slow-moving farm vehicles. poor pavement or if your vehicle is in poor condition.  Begin counting the seconds it takes you to reach the same place in the road. move over to another lane.  Glance at the vehicle ahead as it passes a fixed object. Hand response time is close to a half second. Road conditions. Foot response time is less. or gently tap your brakes to flash your brake lights and slow down. corner or other fixed mark. heavy traffic. Drivers need to change following distance when speed or road conditions change. this distance.and four-second rule to determine if you are following far enough behind the vehicle ahead of you. avoid staring at one thing. normally threequarters of a second.Section 3: Safe Driving Maintaining a Space Cushion Space around your vehicle gives you distance to react in emergencies and avoid a crash. Keep your eyes moving and learn to read the road and your surroundings. curves. If possible. do not brake suddenly. When driving in rural areas. This does not take into account any delay in perception time as a result of the driver being tired. Avoid staring at the middle of the road. and bicycles. Expert drivers try to focus their eyes 20 to 30 seconds ahead. Help the driver behind you by maintaining a safe following distance and a steady speed. Watch for other vehicles. Watch for pedestrians. allows the driver to steer and brake out of a problem areas. Increase your following distance when driving:  behind a large vehicle that blocks your vision  in bad weather or heavy traffic  when exiting an expressway  behind a motorcycle  when being tailgated Tailgating is when the driver behind you is following too closely.  For bad weather conditions. Search for clues in the road. fence. bicyclists and other slow moving vehicles that may be in the road ahead. such as an overpass. and even following vehicles of different weights all change the ability to stop. speed. distracted. brake or back-up lights and turned wheels on vehicles. 2 seconds 3 seconds 4 seconds Under 35 MPH 36-45 MPH 46-70 MPH Here’s how the following distance rule works. Use the two-. especially trucks. Tap your brakes to warn the driver behind you when you plan to slow down or stop. on medication. Scan from side to side. hills and different road conditions. or four seconds. 18 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . three. As you search the road. Slow down and increase your following distance. Create a space cushion around your vehicle by staying in the middle of your lane. This should encourage the tailgater to pass you or slow down. Clues like these warn that the vehicles may pull into your path. you’re following too closely. Following Distance At these posted speeds and on dry surfaces. Make sure there is enough room ahead of your vehicle and behind it for other vehicles to pass or stop safely.  If you reach the mark before you have counted off two. Looking ahead will help you identify risks early and provide you with more time to react. add extra seconds to increase your following distance. depending on speed. If you find yourself in this situation. etc. checking for traffic signs and signals.

Check the traffic behind you when changing lanes. Allow yourself plenty of braking distance by adding an extra second to the following distance rule. Remember that the elderly and people with disabilities will move slowly. Look for bicycles on all public roads. Although you do not need a driver’s license to operate a moped. recreational vehicles and other vehicles of all shapes and sizes. V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 19 . Look behind. toy vehicles. backing up. They have the right-of-way. the operator would be required to hold a valid driver’s license with a motorcycle classification or a driver’s license restricted to operating motorcycles only. back up or proceed through an intersection. A motorcycle’s small size allows it to slip into your blind spot easily. however. treat moped riders with the same care given to any other vehicle driver.  Look for motorcyclists. The best way to see a car in your blind spot is by quickly turning your head and glancing over your shoulder to ensure the way is clear before changing lanes or passing another vehicle. change lanes. Slow down and be prepared to stop. Give them plenty of room when passing and be prepared to stop suddenly. Always check for motorcycles before you pull out. Use your rearview mirror to check the traffic behind you frequently. These include intersections. Drivers are conditioned to look for four-wheeled vehicles. Motorcycles: Approximately half of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve automobiles. there are three types of pedestrians most often involved in accidents: children. since cars coming from the left will be closer to you. Then look to the right and take one more quick look to the left before you drive through. Although a motorcycle is not as wide as the lane. shopping centers. about every 10 seconds.  Never tailgate a motorcycle (or any other vehicle). Any person who operates a moped faster than 35 MPH is considered to be operating a motorcycle which must meet Virginia registration requirements. Whenever you reach a place in the road where other cars. turn. It is against the law to operate a moped faster than 35 MPH or on an interstate highway. the rider will use the entire lane as traffic situations and road conditions change. It is your responsibility to adjust your driving to avoid other drivers’ mistakes and assure everyone’s safety. Mopeds: Under Virginia law. don’t stay in the other driver’s blind spot.  Be especially aware of pedestrians when making a right or left turn on red. double this distance. many are children who may not know or obey the rules. This will alert you if someone is moving up too quickly or tailgating you.  Be careful around schools.  Be alert for pedestrians at all times.  Look out for the elderly. crosswalks. Many crashes are caused by the motorist’s failure to see a motorcycle in traffic. They must carry some form of identification that includes name.  Anticipate the motorcyclist’s movements. In addition. Moped riders must be at least age 16 and obey all rules of the road. steep hill. At any intersection. who may have poor vision and hearing. trucks and buses. the elderly and adults under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. but they don’t expect to see two-wheeled vehicles. As a driver. but. A slight change or debris on the road surface Blind Spots Blind spots are danger areas that cannot be seen in the mirrors on either or both sides of the vehicle. look both ways to be sure it is clear. address and date of birth. Bicycles: Bicycles are considered vehicles and have the same right-of-way as motor vehicles. It is against the law to operate a bicycle or any electric power device such as assistive mobility devices. The motor cannot be rated at more than two horsepower or enable the moped to travel more than 30 MPH. A motorcycle’s small size also makes it difficult to see. you may not operate a moped if you have been declared a habitual offender and your license is suspended or revoked for driving while intoxicated. people or animals may cross your path. This can be just as dangerous as not checking your own blind spot. construction areas and playgrounds. the other driver didn’t see the motorcycle until it was too late. look to the left first.Section 3: Safe Driving Check from left to right and then left again before entering an intersection. Pedestrians: Generally. Bicyclists are also expected to obey the same traffic rules and regulations as vehicle drivers. In inclement weather. a moped is a bicycle-like device with pedals and a motor. and bicycles on any interstate highway. Allow pedestrians to completely cross the street before beginning your turn.  Check your blind spots. bicyclists. playgrounds and in residential areas where small children may be playing or crossing the street. In more than half of all crashes involving motorcycles and automobiles. moped and motorcycle riders. Sharing the Road Drivers share the road with many other users: pedestrians. slowing down quickly or driving down a long. Avoid driving in someone else’s blind spot. Slow down when you approach bicyclists. Speed up or drop back.

These areas are called No-Zones.ridethetide. there are danger areas around these vehicles where crashes are more likely to occur. look for the entire front of the truck in your rearview mirror before pulling in front.  Wide Turns: Trucks. and license plate lights are functioning properly. When passing. tractor-trailers. If the truck.  Be careful turning across train tracks. you have no place to go and could crash into the vehicle’s rear-end. check twice for motorcycles and use extra caution before you pull out in front of one. Golf carts are not classified as low speed vehicles. In fact. TractorTrailers and RVs. Learn more about driver safety near The Tide light rail at http://www. Ensure:  the pin securing the ball mount to the receiver is intact  the hitch coupler is secured  safety chains are properly attached  the electrical plug is properly installed  brake lights. buses and RVs sometimes need to swing wide to the left or right to safely make a turn. cross bars and flashing lights are not typically provided at highway crossings.  Rear No-Zone: Trucks. They can’t see the cars directly behind or beside them. Never try to squeeze between a truck. They accelerate slowly and require greater stopping and turning distances. Low speed vehicles may be operated on public roads with speed limits of 35 MPH or less by licensed drivers or learner’s permit holders accompanied by a licensed driver. their blind spots may stretch up to 20 feet in front of the cab and approximately 200 feet behind the vehicle. Learning the No-Zones can save your life. Low Speed Vehicles: These electrically powered four-wheel vehicles have a maximum speed ranging from 21 to 25 MPH. And then. shtml. Trucks. Always maintain a safe following distance. campers and travel trailers – are longer. Before pulling out into traffic. When driving near light rail vehicles:  Pay attention and obey all traffic signals. tractortrailers. These vehicles need nearly twice the time and room to stop as cars. find a location such as a vacant parking lot to practice and get the feel for how your vehicle and trailer will handle. If you can’t see the driver’s face in his side view mirror. Before pulling a trailer on public roads. The driver can’t see your car behind his vehicle and you can’t see what’s happening in traffic ahead of his vehicle. perform a safety inspection before each trip. Remember the No-Zones described under Trucks. accelerate and turn.Section 3: Safe Driving can be a major obstacle for a motorcyclist. bus or RV and the curb or another vehicle. turn signals. Tractor-Trailers.  Never stop or park your car on light rail tracks.  Expect trains on any track at any time. it takes the vehicle twice as long to pass. Look both ways before crossing the tracks. bus or RV brakes or stops suddenly.  Side No-Zones: Trucks. Low speed vehicles must comply with all federal safety standards and must meet Virginia’s requirements for passenger vehicle registration and insurance coverage.  Yield to motorcycles. Light rail vehicles are quiet. tractor-trailers. Light to Medium Trailers: These trailers are attached to midsized cars and trucks with safety chains and a trailer hitch. Warning bells. stop. The small size of a motorcycle can cause you to misjudge the motorcycle’s speed and distance.  Never drive around. buses and RVs have big No-Zones on both sides that are dangerous because these vehicles must make wide turns. buses and recreational vehicles (RVs) – including motor homes. or race a light rail vehicle through an intersection. No-Zones on the side. Buses and RVs: Trucks. Plus. front and rear also include blind spots where your car disappears from the driver’s view. bus or RV if you cut in front too soon after passing the vehicle or if you cut in front and then suddenly slow down. higher and wider than other vehicles. These No-Zones or blind spots are much larger than your car’s blind spots.  Front No-Zone: You could get rear-ended by a truck. Expect the motorcycle to make sudden moves within the lane. Light Rail: The Tide in Norfolk is a light rail vehicle that shares the road with automobile traffic as well as pedestrians and bicyclists. Towing a trailer places additional stress on the vehicle. A truck and its trailer may be as long as 65 feet and it may take you more than half a mile of clear road to pass. Large side mirrors are generally needed to increase visibility. The truck. Never drive in the motorcyclist’s lane. Before driving a vehicle with a light to medium trailer attached. 20 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . buses and RVs have huge No-Zones directly behind them.com/light_rail_safety/lightrail_safety. bus and RV drivers would be forced to slam on their brakes. maintain your speed. if possible. then he can’t see you.

You must use your headlights whenever you use your windshield wipers as a result of bad weather. If you park on a shoulder. Increase your space cushion by doubling your normal following distance from three seconds to six seconds (refer to the Maintaining a Space Cushion section for more information). To back the trailer to the right. Reducing your speed should be your first response to decreased visibility and dangerous road conditions. and how to adjust to possible problems. V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 21 . park on either side. You may not park:  beside another parked vehicle (double parking)  on crosswalks or sidewalks  in front of driveways  within areas where parking is prohibited by curbs painted yellow or No Parking signs  in a parking space reserved for disabled persons  on the hard surface of a road when no curb is present  within 15 feet of a fire hydrant  within 20 feet of an intersection  within 15 feet of the entrance to a fire. snow or sleet when visibility is reduced to 500 feet. Turn on your headlights. use your right hand to move the wheel to the right. pull close to it. The single biggest contributor to crashes is failing to identify a risk. If you park next to a curb. place your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel. On a two-way street. To be a good driver. You must use headlights from sunset to sunrise. Parking downhill — no curb Turn front wheels right Parking uphill — no curb Turn front wheels right Night Driving At sunset. the rear of the vehicle will roll away from traffic. fog. Parking When parking on a public road. move as far from traffic as possible.Section 3: Safe Driving When driving a vehicle with a light to medium trailer attached:  always allow for the added length of the trailer when you change lanes  if your trailer starts to sway. You may not park more than one foot from the curb. ambulance or rescue squad station  within 500 feet of where fire trucks or equipment are stopped answering an alarm  within 50 feet of a railroad crossing  in such a way that you block or create a hazard for other vehicles in a designated traffic lane Backing The most common mistake that drivers make when backing up is failing to look both ways behind them. steer toward your target  when backing up. as soon as light begins to fade. where to look. pull over as far on the shoulder as possible. To back the trailer to the left. you need to know what to look for. Mirrors do not give you a full view. You must use your headlights at night and at other times when it’s hard to see. To see as much as possible. Visibility Most of what you do while driving depends on what you see. If you cannot see where you are backing up. You must be alert and pay attention to what is going on around you. snow or ice. You must also be alert for unexpected events. Without a curb: Turn the front wheels so that if the vehicle rolls. park on the right side of the road. turn your body and head to the right and look out through the rear window. Parking on a hill With a curb: Turn the front wheels of your vehicle to prevent it from rolling into the street. You must look down the road. Parking downhill — with curb Turn front wheels right Parking uphill — with curb Turn front wheels left Lights Virginia law requires motorists to use headlights during inclement weather such as rain. use your left hand to move the wheel left. Hazardous Conditions Driving becomes hazardous when visibility is reduced or when the road surface is covered with rain. Back up slowly and check for pedestrians and approaching traffic by glancing quickly to either side. On a oneway road. have someone outside to help guide you. turn on your headlights to make your vehicle more visible to others. to the sides. and behind your vehicle.

driver distraction accounts for roughly 20 percent of all traffic crashes in Virginia. Protect yourself. so slow down. Therefore. intimidate. as well as making hand and facial gestures. Dangerous Driving Behaviors Aggressive Driving This dangerous driving behavior is defined by Virginia law as the intent to harass. mirrors and front and rear lights of snow or ice so you can see and communicate with other drivers. When rain begins. injure or obstruct another person while committing one or more traffic offenses such as failing to stop or yield the right-of-way. Even light fog reduces visibility and your ability to judge distances. drivers should not use cell phones. computers or other distracting devices except to report a crash or emergency. your license could be suspended for ten days or for as long as six months. Failure to maintain proper control. following too closely. except on streets where there is no lighting. if you are convicted of aggressive driving. avoid looking directly at the bright lights. Be sure to clear all of your windows. roads are more likely to be slippery due to oil on the road surface mixing with water. Why is distracted driving so deadly? Because while the driver is distracted. When following. and not yielding the right-of-way are common actions of young distracted drivers. do not turn on your high-beam headlights. passing on the right (including on the shoulder and unpaved portions of the road). making improper and unsafe lane changes. 22 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . Driving on packed snow is similar to driving on ice. Their frustration levels run high while their concerns for fellow motorists runs low. turn on your windshield wipers before visibility is blocked. observing outside surroundings. speeding. using wipers for sprinkles may smear the windshield and make it hard to see. There are many distractions that may prevent drivers from focusing on driving: changing the radio or CD. apply brakes gently. Fog Fog reflects light and can reflect your own headlights back into your eyes. talking to passengers. pull over and stop the vehicle in a safe location. before you start driving. Virginia law prohibits drivers under age 18 from using cell phones or any other wireless communication device while driving except in a driver emergency and the vehicle is lawfully parked or stopped. apply the brakes gently. Avoid eye contact and ignore his gestures and shouting. Remember. hood and rear of the vehicle. Rain Driving in heavy rain can be as hazardous as driving in fog. When engaging in distracting behavior. these high-risk drivers take out their anger on other motorists. Switch to low-beams whenever you meet oncoming traffic to avoid blinding the other driver. Equip your car with all-weather snow tires or chains to help prevent skidding and reduce stopping distance. tailgating. When you brake. The driver then loses precious seconds before recognizing the situation and must make an emergency maneuver. unless another vehicle is within 500 feet coming toward you. including the roof. Annually. When on the road. especially if the wind is blowing. Slow down before stopping or turning. If the highbeams of an oncoming car are on. use low-beams whenever you are within 200 feet of the vehicle ahead. Inexperience in handling or controlling a vehicle during an emergency Snow Remove snow and ice from your entire car.Section 3: Safe Driving Use low-beams when driving in cities and towns. When driving on slippery surfaces and you need to stop. Don’t challenge the aggressive driver by speeding up or trying to out-maneuver him. eating. If you see an aggressive driver. Other vehicles to the rear and in blind spot areas are especially difficult to see when it’s raining. In light rain or drizzle. You have the most traction and control when the front tires are rolling. during the first half-hour. Snow and ice left on the car can fly off when the vehicle is moving and create a hazard for other motorists. Text messaging or reading of text messages while driving is illegal for all drivers. Use low-beam headlights in heavy fog and look for road edge markings to guide you. then look quickly ahead to determine the other vehicle’s position. stay out of the way. They break the law by running stop signs and red lights. weaving in and out of traffic. Use high-beam headlights on highways. honking and flashing their lights. using a cell phone and more. Watch for ice on bridges and in shady areas. Keep doing this until you have passed the other vehicle. screaming. avoiding a traffic control device or failing to give way to an overtaking vehicle. Bridges freeze before other road surfaces. Young distracted drivers are even more susceptible. Even if the other driver does not dim his headlights. the vehicle may move into a high risk situation. Use your low-beam headlights to see and be seen. your vehicle will respond more effectively to steering while moving more slowly than hard braking. Glance toward the side of the road. When aggressive drivers are behind the wheel. Distracted Driving Driving requires your full attention.

hay fever. Twelve ounces of beer is the same as a shot of liquor or a five-ounce glass of wine. Coffee. Because alcohol affects your judgment and driving ability. from10 PM to 6 AM.  If possible. Stop at least every two hours for rest. drive with a companion and switch drivers when necessary. It’s not just illegal drugs that cause problems. sprays. If you don’t feel any more alert. Wait at least 10 minutes after waking up to see how alert you are. Drinking and Driving Legally. In your lifetime. but relaxed. you can be convicted of DUI if your BAC is . drivers age 21 or older are considered to be driving under the influence (DUI) if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is . They provide a short-term boost. They often affect driver alertness and slow reaction time. Look in the direction that you want to go. heavy eyelids.  Maintain a space cushion around your vehicle. This includes syrups. Your reaction time is slower. If your driving is impaired. head nodding. The consequences can be just as fatal.  Stop at a safe place and take a nap. Often the actions of tired drivers are confused with drivers who had been drinking. Researchers estimate that between the hours of 10 PM and 2 AM three out of every ten drivers are drunk. and coordination. cold showers or exercise will not sober you up. Alcohol-related crashes are not accidents. One drink taken when you are on another drug – even an aspirin. other passengers. etc. Just one alcoholic drink can affect your driving ability because even a small amount of alcohol affects the brain’s functions – particularly vision.  Avoid alcoholic beverages and heavy foods.) puts them at greater risk of a crash. avoid driving when drowsiness is most likely.02 or higher. colds. Keep your eyes moving and check your mirrors often. no amount of caffeine will help.08 percent or higher. however. blurred vision and weaving while driving are some of the warning signs that you may be on the verge of falling asleep at the wheel. you may face the same penalties as driving under the influence of alcohol. awareness is decreased.  Set or adjust the controls on the vehicle and other devices as soon as you get in the car and before you begin driving. eyes not on the road. keep your body alert. your chances of being in a crash are seven times greater if you drive after drinking than if you drive sober. They can be prevented! The only way to avoid the risks of drinking and driving is to decide before you start drinking that you are not going to drive. It’s best to stay off the road. you can be convicted of driving under the influence with a BAC lower than . Also. pills and tablets. sit straight. Make sure there is enough room ahead of your vehicle and behind it.08 percent. Don’t let this happen to you. allergies or nervous conditions can cause drowsiness and dizziness. Only time can decrease intoxication. V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 23 . Remember. Don’t think that it won’t happen to you.  Concentrate. alcohol affects judgment.  Keep the temperature cool in your vehicle. don’t drive.  Do not use a cell phone. Find a place to sleep for an hour or for the night.  If possible. Making the decision not to drive is a lot more difficult after one or two drinks. Many over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs for headaches. Driving while you are sleepy reduces your ability to drive effectively. there’s a 50-50 chance that you’ll be involved in an alcohol-related crash.  Beware of medications that can impair your driving ability. or allergy or cold medicine – could have the same effect on your driving ability as drinking several alcoholic beverages. Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel at all times. Drowsy Driving Constant yawning. If under age 21. Almost any drug can reduce your ability to drive safely. drops. Combining alcohol with other drugs usually multiplies the effects of both and can have a disastrous effect on your ability to drive. More than one-third of these drivers have been drinking at someone else’s home. If your driving is impaired because you are under the influence of any drug. Talk with passengers but not to the point of distraction.  Anticipate the traffic and environment around you by searching ahead and checking your rearview mirrors often. judgment. if you are seriously sleep deprived. To avoid falling asleep at the wheel:  Get plenty of quality sleep before a trip. Nearly 50 percent of the drivers arrested for DUI are social to moderate drinkers. Drive to social events in groups of two or more and have the driver agree not to drink. Take the following precautions. and judgement is impaired.  Avoid caffeine drinks.Section 3: Safe Driving situation combined with distracted driving (cell phone use.  Limit long distance driving.

 Keep your hands in plain view.  give any help you can if someone is injured. while the effects may vary among users. If you don’t understand something.  Pull off to the right side of the roadway. and a description of the damage. address and insurance policy number of other vehicle owners  notify your insurance company immediately.  If the officer issues you a citation. telephone number. You may move the vehicles before the police arrive if the vehicles create a traffic hazard.  Turn off your engine.  Keep your safety belt fastened and ask your passengers to keep their belts fastened.  Stay in your vehicle. Do not attempt to move an injured person from a wrecked vehicle unless you have the necessary medical training or there is an immediate danger such as fire.  You will be asked to sign the citation. Traffic Stops If you are stopped by a police officer:  Remain calm. Look for warnings about side effects. Ask your passengers to keep their hands in plain view also.  If the officer is driving an unmarked car or is not in uniform.  Do not make any movement that will make the officer think you are hiding or reaching for something. you may be required to go to the police station. This is not an admission of guilt.  report the crash to the police as quickly as possible. If you cannot locate anyone. Remember that. the date and time of the crash. no drug is harmless. 24 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . keeping one hand on the steering wheel. Motor vehicle crashes involving property damage. you must:  stop at the scene of the crash or as close to the scene as possible without blocking traffic. proof of vehicle registration and proof of insurance. Traffic Crashes If you are involved in a traffic crash. preferrably on the steering wheel. personal injury or death must be reported to the police. ask your pharmacist or doctor for advice. Do not get out unless the officer asks you to. Law enforcement officers are required to forward a written crash report to DMV when a traffic crash results in injury or the death of any person or total property damage is in excess of $1. do not argue with the officer about the citation. You must make a reasonable effort to find the owner of an unattended vehicle or other property damaged in a crash. Include your name. Refusal to sign the citation may result in your arrest. tell him where they are and reach for them slowly.500. address and driver’s license number of other drivers  license plate numbers of other vehicles  name and address of anyone who was injured  name and address of each witness  name. All crash information will be recorded on the DMV records of each driver involved in the crash. Position your vehicle as far away from traffic as possible.  Carry proper identification: a valid driver’s license.  Answer the officer’s questions fully and clearly.  Turn on your flashers. You must also report the crash to the police within 24 hours. ask to see his or her identification. politely ask the officer questions to clarify.Section 3: Safe Driving Read the label before taking any drug or medicine.  exchange information with other people involved in the crash as soon as possible. Or.  Roll down your window so that you can communicate with the officer. leave a note that can be found easily at the scene of the crash. You will have your chance to make your case when you go to court. If you’re uncertain about the effects of a drug. Be sure to get the following information:  name. radio and any other device that could block communication with the officer. If the officer asks for these documents.

Exception: A waiver of the seat belt requirement may be granted by a licensed physician if the use of a safety belt is not reasonable due to the driver’s or passenger’s physical or medical condition. The person granted the waiver must carry the physician’s signed written statement identifying the person with the waiver and the reason for the waiver. V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 25 . booster seat or child safety seat no matter where the child is seated in the vehicle. the driver and all front seat passengers must wear safety belts. can double your chances of surviving a crash and more than double your chances of avoiding serious injury.Section 4: Seat Belts. Air Bags and Child Safety Seats also called safety belts. Wearing seat belts. Seat Belts In this section you’ll learn about:  Seat belts  Air bags  Child safety seats Under Virginia law. when used properly with safety belts. neck and chest from hitting the steering column or dashboard. Pregnant women are much safer if buckled up by wearing the belt as low on the pelvis as possible. Wear your shoulder belt over your shoulder and across your chest. Your shoulder and lap belts should be snug without any slack. cushion drivers and passengers as they move forward in a front-end crash. Never wear your shoulder belt behind your back or under your arm. Remember to wear your lap belt low on your lap and against your thighs. A driver transporting anyone younger than age 18 must ensure that the passenger is properly secured in a safety belt. By providing a cushion. Air Bags Air bags. the air bag keeps the head.

1968. including applying for an on/off switch. This points the air bag toward your chest instead of your head and neck. If you are convicted of violating the child restraint law. 26 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . A waiver of this law may be granted by a licensed physician if the use of a child restraint would be unreasonable due to the child’s weight. If your car is equipped with a child safety lock. the child may be crushed between your body and the dashboard. pull the vehicle off the road and come to a complete stop. contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at www.  Move your seat back so that you are at least ten inches from the steering wheel.  Make sure that all car doors are securely closed and locked before driving. For more information about air bags.  Never leave a hatchback open when a child is riding in the back seat. tilt it downward. turn it on. Attend one of these checks to make sure that your child’s safety seat is installed correctly.  Never allow children to ride in the luggage area of hatchbacks.  Numerous child safety seat checks are held in localities across Virginia.  Children ages 12 and under are safer buckled up in the back seat. a rear facing child seat may be placed in the front passenger seat only if the vehicle is not equipped with a passenger side airbag or the passenger air bag is turned off. If you must open a door. All children under age eight must be properly secured in a child safety seat or booster seat when riding in vehicles manufactured after January 1. The person responsible for transporting this child must carry the signed written statement by the physician identifying the child and stating the grounds for the waiver. you will be fined $50.  It is illegal to transport children under age 16 in the bed of a pickup truck.  Children ages one through seven ride facing forward in a child safety seat or booster seat. The driver is responsible for making sure that children are properly secured.  The safest place to install a child safety seat is in the center of the back seat. In a crash. Never place a rear-facing infant seat in the front seat of a vehicle with a passenger-side air bag turned on.nhtsa. station wagons or vans. even if equipped with a camper shell. A second or subsequent offense could mean a $500 penalty. physical fitness or other medical reasons.Section 4: Seat Belts.00. Don’t allow children to play with door handles or locks. Child Safety Seats Securing a child in a correctly installed child safety seat can significantly reduce the possibility of death or injury. When traveling with children:  Children from birth to age 12 months ride facing the rear.gov or toll-free hotline at 1-800-424-9393. If the vehicle does not have a back seat. Air Bags and Child Safety Seats If your vehicle is equipped with air bags:  Always buckle up and have all passengers in the vehicle buckle up.dot.  Never hold a child in your lap.  If your steering wheel is adjustable.

S. road skills and vision exams to have your driving privilege reinstated. You must successfully complete the vision screening. citizen or legally authorized by the federal government to be in the U. You may pay the required fees and reinstate your license at the end of the suspension period. your privilege to drive has been withdrawn temporarily. two-part knowledge exam and road skills tests and pay the required fees when you re-apply. your driving privilege may be suspended or revoked by the court and/or DMV. Revocation means that your privilege to drive has been terminated. which means you are either a U. you must show proof of legal presence and pass the two-part knowledge. Your driving privilege may be restored if you re-apply for a driver’s license and show proof of legal presence after the revocation period has passed. If your license is suspended. If you break certain laws In this section you’ll learn about:  License suspension  License revocation  Conviction-related suspensions and revocations  Other DMV requirements.Section 5: Penalties or repeatedly violate the laws of Virginia. suspensions and revocations  Driver Improvement Program  Medical review program  Insurance monitoring program  Suspension for failing to satisfy child support-related requirements  Alcohol and the law  Administrative License Suspension  Open alcohol containers in vehicles  Transporting children while under the influence of alcohol/drugs  Vehicle impoundment  Restitution  Alcohol related violations and penalties involving persons under age 21 Conviction-Related Suspensions and Revocations The court or DMV will suspend or revoke your privilege to drive if you are convicted of any of the following offenses:  operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI)  injuring another person as a result of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs  operating a motor vehicle while suspended or revoked for a DUI V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 27 .S. Also. if your license has been expired for one year or more. During the suspension period. you will be required to show proof of legal presence.

DMV is concerned about any condition that impairs the driver’s:  level of consciousness  perception (vision)  judgment  motor skills Depending upon the situation. Age 18 or 19: DMV will require you to complete a driver improvement clinic if you are convicted of a demerit point or safety belt/child restraint violation committed while you were age 18 or 19. DMV will suspend your driving privilege for 90 days and require that you complete a driver improvement clinic. Other DMV Requirements.Section 5: Penalties  operating a motor vehicle that is not equipped with the ignition interlock device when it is required by the court or DMV  making a false statement to DMV  failing to stop and identify yourself at the scene of a crash if someone has been injured or killed  voluntary or involuntary manslaughter resulting from driving a motor vehicle  involuntary manslaughter resulting from operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol  committing a drug offense. Your third conviction will result in a revocation of your driving privilege for one year or until you reach age 18. whichever is longer. Medical Review Program DMV is responsible for making sure that drivers are able to safely operate motor vehicles. DMV will suspend your driving privilege until you complete the clinic and pay a reinstatement fee.dmvNOW. DMV also monitors your driving record to see how many demerit points you receive within a 12-month and 24-month period. If you do not complete the clinic within 90 days. a medical review of the driver may be conducted. When convictions are added to your record. DMV may require you to submit a medical or vision report completed by your physician and/or to pass the two-part knowledge exam and/or road skills test.com or A Different Kind of Crash Course (DMV 114) brochure. and eligibility for restricted driving privileges. Convictions may be assigned three. Age 18 or Older: DMV will require you to complete a driver improvement clinic if you accumulate 12 demerit points within 12 months or 18 points within 24 months. four or six demerit points. DMV assigns demerit points to traffic offenses and moving violations. the court will suspend your driving privilege. DMV will require that you complete a driver improvement clinic. For more detailed information on the Driver Improvement Program for juveniles and adults and the actions taken by DMV. After your second conviction for a demerit point traffic violation (or safety belt/child restraint violation) committed when you were under age 18. DMV is responsible for maintaining a driving record of all convictions received from the court. DMV will suspend your driving privilege. If you receive 18 demerit points within 12 months or 24 points within 24 months. If you do not complete the clinic within 90 days. Under Age 18: If you are convicted of a demerit point traffic violation (or safety belt/child restraint violation) committed when you were under age 18. For more information. Moving Violations and Points Assessment (DMV 115) publication available at www.com or DMV customer service centers. Refer to the DMV website under Reinstating Driving Privileges and Restricted Driving Privileges for information on other reasons for suspensions/revocations.dmvNOW. When DMV receives a report that a driver may have a physical or mental condition that affects his ability to drive safely. The court may offer you the option to enter into an installment payment agreement if you are unable to pay the total amount. regardless of whether or not a motor vehicle is involved  committing a felony involving the use of a motor vehicle  taking a driver’s license exam for another person. refer to www. or appearing for another person to renew a license  eluding police The court may suspend or revoke your driving privilege if you are convicted of the following offenses:  reckless or aggressive driving  operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license  driving while your license is revoked or suspended for a non-DUI related conviction  refusing to take a blood/breath test when charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol/drugs  failing to pay for gas If you are convicted of any traffic or criminal convictions and you fail to pay your court fines and costs within 15 days. DMV will suspend your driving privilege for 90 days. Suspensions and Revocations Driver Improvement Program If you are a Virginia resident. refer to the 28 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . requirements to reinstate your driving privilege.

Transporting Children While Under the Influence of Alcohol/Drugs Conviction of any DUI offense involving a juvenile passenger (age 17 or younger) in the vehicle at the time of the offense carries an additional mandatory five-day jail term plus all other fines and jail sentences. If the police have probable cause to stop you and suspect that you have been drinking or using drugs. DMV will decide whether to:  suspend your driving privilege  restrict your driving privilege  require you to submit periodic medical and/or vision reports. or pay the $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee. When registering a motor vehicle. and  show signs that you have been drinking The passenger area means the area that seats the driver and passengers and any area within the driver’s reach. the suspension/revocation periods will run consecutively. the penalties are severe. you can be arrested for DUI within three hours of the crash without a warrant and at any location.000.000. you will not be required to present legal presence proof documents to reinstate your driving privilege unless required to do so for another suspension/revocation or your license expires. Refer to the DMV publication. Medical Fitness for Safe Driving (MED 80). or  end the medical review with no other requirements If DMV suspends your driving privilege as a result of medical review action. for a second offense  until the trial. Open Alcohol Containers in Vehicles You may be charged with drinking while operating a motor vehicle if you:  are stopped by law enforcement and you have an open container of alcohol in the passenger area and the contents have been partially removed. the court and DMV will impose a suspension/revocation and other penalties in addition to the administrative license suspension. A second DUI offense with a juvenile in the vehicle carries an additional 80-hour community service requirement plus all other fines and jail sentences.dmvNOW. summons or warrant related to paternity or child support hearings Refer to the DMV website under Reinstatement for information on eligibility for restricted driving privileges and requirements to reinstate your driving privilege. Insurance Monitoring Program DMV is responsible for making sure that all owners of vehicles with a valid registration comply with the Virginia laws on insurance requirements. You may also be charged an additional fine of at least $500 and up to $1. whichever comes first. Alcohol and the Law If you are arrested for drinking and driving. DMV will suspend your driving privilege if:  you do not submit the requested insurance policy information to verify that you have liability insurance coverage  there is a break in your insurance policy coverage and you do not return your license plates to DMV Refer to www. for more detailed information on the Medical Review Program. you agree to take a test upon request. or  fail to appear in court or comply with a subpoena.com for more detailed information on Insurance Monitoring activities by DMV. for a first offense  for 60 days or until you go to trial. your driving privilege will be automatically suspended:  for seven days. for a third DUI offense If you are convicted of DUI.Section 5: Penalties Once the medical review is completed.08 percent or higher while you are driving and law enforcement charges you with driving while under the influence of alcohol/drugs or refusing a breath test. you must sign a statement on the registration application that you have liability insurance coverage for your motor vehicle. Under implied consent laws. If you receive multiple DUI convictions. they will ask you to take a breath or blood test. including an unlocked glove compartment. if you operate a motor vehicle on Virginia’s public roads. If you are involved in a motor vehicle crash and a law enforcement officer has probable cause. Suspensions for Failing to Satisfy Child Support-Related Requirements The Division of Child Support Enforcement will direct DMV to suspend your driving privilege if you:  are late making child support payments by 90 days or $5. V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 29 . Administrative License Suspension If your BAC is .

mandatory suspension of your driver’s license for up to one year. or  the requirement that you complete at least 50 hours of community service. possess or consume alcohol.08 or higher. Also. fire fighters and rescue personnel who respond to a crash or incident resulting from your DUI violation. whichever is less. you are subject to a fine up to $2.500. and your BAC was at least . you will:  be fined at least $500  be required to perform at least 50 hours of community service  face up to 12 months in jail. you may be responsible for paying the cost (up to $1. Misrepresentation of Age: If you are under age 21 and you use or attempt to use a fake ID to establish a false age in an attempt to drink or purchase alcohol. Providing Alcoholic Beverages: If you provide or sell alcoholic beverages to a person under age 21 or someone who is intoxicated or ordered by a court to refrain from drinking alcohol. the court penalty will include:  a suspension of your driving privilege for one year from the date of conviction. Restitution Depending on the laws of the city or county in which you are driving. The court can impound the vehicle for an additional 90 days if you are convicted. If you are convicted of driving after illegally consuming alcohol and your BAC was . and  face mandatory suspension of your driver’s license for at least six months but not more than one year 30 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . Alcohol Related Violations and Penalties Involving Persons Under Age 21 Purchasing/Consuming Alcohol: If you are under age 21. you cannot purchase. your vehicle will be impounded by law enforcement if you operate a motor vehicle without a license after you have previously been convicted of driving without a license. emergency medical services. The vehicle will remain impounded until you obtain a license or for three days.000) for law enforcement. you may face the same penalties as an adult. and  a minimum mandatory fine of $500.02 percent and less than . and 12 months in jail.08.Section 5: Penalties Vehicle Impoundment Your vehicle will be impounded immediately for 30 days if you are caught driving after your license has been suspended for an alcohol-related offense. If you are convicted of driving after illegally consuming alcohol.

You could be fined. For more information about obtaining a driver’s license. brother. available at www. The licensed driver with you may be age 18. sister. 19 or 20 if he or she is your legal guardian. sentenced to jail.001 pounds that is exempt from commercial driver’s license (CDL) requirements. refer to the Basic Steps to Your Driver’s License (DMV 142) publication. or your license may be suspended.com or DMV customer service centers. be alert and able to assist you while you are driving.com and DMV customer service centers. half-sister. V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 31 . The driver with you must hold a valid driver’s license. Any misuse of your driver’s license or learner’s permit is illegal. For more information about obtaining a learner’s permit.dmvNOW. stepbrother or stepsister. Driver’s License A driver’s license allows you to operate any vehicle or small truck less than 26.dmvNOW. In this section you’ll learn about:  Learner’s Permit  Driver’s License  Commercial Driver’s License  School Bus Driver’s License  Motorcycle Learner’s Permit  Motorcycle Driver’s License  International Driver’s License Learner’s Permit A learner’s permit allows you to operate a motor vehicle when a licensed driver at least 21 years of age is seated in the front passenger seat. Whenever you drive. refer to the Parents in the Driver’s Seat (DMV 16) publication available at www.Section 6: License Types you must carry a valid driver’s license or learner’s permit with you. halfbrother.

you do not need to obtain a commercial driver’s license. These permits are issued by your local AAA.S. This restriction will be printed on your license. you will need to take the commercial driver and school bus tests to obtain the school bus endorsement on your driver’s license. It is only a foreign translation of your existing valid driver’s license to be used when you are traveling outside of the U. refer to the Virginia Motorcycle Operator Manual (DMV 2). or vehicles carrying hazardous materials. For more information. you may add a Class M to your license. Your home country driver’s license should be accompanied by a translation of the license. If you already hold a driver’s license. tank vehicles.Section 6: License Types Commercial Driver’s License A commercial driver’s license (CDL) allows you to operate tractor-trailers. International Driver’s License An international driver’s license is not a valid driver’s license and does not allow you to drive.dmvNOW. School Bus Driver’s License If you wish to operate a school bus designed to carry 15 occupants (including the driver). For more information about obtaining a CDL. licensed to operate a motorcycle. and able to assist you while they are supervising from another motorcycle or other vehicle riding along with you. refer to the Virginia Commercial Driver’s Manual (DMV 60). For more information. you may obtain a driver’s license restricted to a Class M that only allows you to operate a motorcycle. you may drive using your driver’s license issued by your home country.com or any DMV customer service center. can be on the motorcycle. You will be restricted to driving a bus designed to carry 15 occupants (including the driver). If you do not hold a driver’s license. However. available at www. If you are visiting the U. You must always wear an approved helmet while operating a motorcycle in Virginia.dmvNOW. refer to the Virginia Motorcycle Operator Manual (DMV 2). Motorcycle Driver’s License If you wish to operate a motorcycle in Virginia. other than the operator. from a foreign country.S. International driver’s licenses marketed by private sector businesses are not valid and do not allow you to legally operate a motor vehicle. Motorcycle Learner’s Permit A motorcycle learner’s permit allows you to operate a motorcycle after 4 AM and before midnight. you must pass the driver’s license two-part knowledge exam. 32 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . refer to the Virginia Commercial Driver’s Manual (DMV 60). passenger buses. You may operate the motorcycle only when supervised by a person who is at least 21 years of age. except to persons whose driving privilege is suspended or revoked. For information about licensing requirements to operate larger school buses. No one. available at www. school buses for 15 or more occupants (including the driver). Sale of any document claiming to be a driver’s license is a Class 1 misdemeanor.com or DMV customer service centers. the motorcycle knowledge exam and the motorcycle road skills test.

Decals indicating the month and year that the registration expires must be placed in the designated areas on the plates (except for vehicles displaying permanent plates). the postal service will return the license to DMV. eye and tissue donation Receiving License by Mail You will receive your new driver’s license in the mail. there are additional requirements that all Virginia drivers should know. DMV does not issue licenses in customer service centers. V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 33 . license plates. registrations. If DMV does not have your correct address. Address Changes If you move.Section 7: Other Important Information Whether you are learning to drive for the first time. new to Virginia or brushing up on your safe driving knowledge. Registrations. License Plates. you must obtain a Virginia driver’s license within 60 days of moving here. Titles. you are required to notify DMV within 30 days. For security. License plates must be displayed on the front and rear of the vehicle. In this section you’ll learn about:  Receiving your license by mail  Address changes  New to Virginia  Titles. The postal service will not forward your license to another address. decals  Safety inspections  Insurance requirements  Applying to register to vote  Organ. New to Virginia If you are a new Virginia resident and drive. Decals Title and register your vehicle and obtain Virginia license plates within 30 days of moving to Virginia.

If you decide to become a donor.gov. Organ. your vehicle also must pass an emissions inspection. a resident of Virginia. You must have had your voting rights restored by a circuit court if you have been convicted of a felony or if you have been declared mentally incompetent. but it allows you to register and operate the vehicle in Virginia for a one-year period. If you are caught driving without insurance or you did not pay the uninsured motorist fee. your insurance policy must provide the following liability insurance coverage:  $25. eye and tissue donor. You must also register your vehicle in your locality. If you wish to become an organ/tissue donor. visit the Virginia State Police website at www.000 for injury or death of one person. Eye and Tissue Donation When you apply for a driver’s license. you must obtain your parent’s or legal guardian’s written consent.S.dmvNOW. 34 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . In certain localities.000 for injury or death of two or more people. you must be a U. To apply to register to vote in Virginia. Refer to www. Insure your Virginia-registered vehicle during the entire registration period even if it is not driven or is inoperable.com for more information about DMV’s Insurance Verification Program and Financial Responsibility Certifications. The decision to become an organ. if required. For more information about Virginia safety inspections.000 for property damage. contact your local registrar or the State Board of Elections at 1-800-552-9745 or TDD 1-800-260-3466. In some cases. Indicate your intentions on the voter registration section of the driver’s license application. eye and tissue donor is yours. liability insurance requirements may be higher.Section 7: Other Important Information You must have the vehicle registration card with you when operating the vehicle. your choice will be noted on the front of your driver’s license or ID card. Safety Inspections Your vehicle must pass an annual vehicle safety inspection and display a valid safety inspection sticker. and be at least 18 years old by the next general election. At a minimum. return the license plates to DMV and cancel the registration. DMV will suspend your driving privilege until you:  pay a $500 fee. you will be asked if you wish to become an organ. you must have liability insurance or pay the $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee. You will have to file this certificate of insurance for three years from the date you regain your driving privileges.virginia. If you are under age 18. Applying to Register to Vote You may apply to register to vote or to change your voter registration mailing address at any DMV office. Paying the uninsured motorist fee does not provide insurance coverage. To check your voter registration status. you must be at least 18 years of age. citizen. and  have your insurance company file a certificate that you have a policy with the required coverage limits. Insure your vehicle with a company authorized to do business in Virginia. Your decision will not affect your driving privileges. Insurance Requirements To register a vehicle and obtain license plates. learner’s permit or photo ID card.  $50. Before you cancel your insurance. and  $20. Check with your city or county government.vsp.

b. Left hand and arm pointing downward. Maintain speed. Slow down and proceed with caution. Yield right-of-way. Check your car for damages. Low place in the road. You may turn during the red light. d. Left hand and arm pointing straight out. Your coordination. 5. Take the person to the nearest hospital. Speed limit. Apply brakes in a normal manner. then proceed with caution. Traffic flows only in the direction of the arrow. This road sign means: a. b. 8. Apply brakes gently. First aid station. vehicles traveling in the same direction as the bus must: a. Railroad crossing. Right lane ends soon. merge right. This road sign means: a. All of these. Right hand and arm pointing downward. Pass only in the right lane. If you are driving on an icy or slippery road and have to stop: a. Your vision. Press brakes firmly. 4. b. 3. b. If you are involved in a crash. 6. c. d. d. One way street. Answers on next page. merge left. Do not turn during the red light. c. d. Lane ends soon. Stop until all children are clear and the bus moves again. Church. b. Soft shoulders. b. Turn right or left. Your judgment. Curve. d. Railroad crossing. 10. be aware that alcohol affects: a. The correct hand signal for stopping is: a. d. d. Four-way intersection. 7. If you drive after drinking. help any injured. Warning of a hazard. c. Left hand and arm pointing upward. c. Continue home and file a crash report. Stop. When a school bus stops to load or unload children. V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L | 35 . Stop. This road sign means: a. b. This road sign means: a. Keep foot off brake and let compression stop you. c. 9. c. report the crash to the police.Section 8: Sample Knowledge Exam 1. d. No U-turn. c. exchange information and notify your insurance company. c. 2. d. c. c. This road sign means: a. b. b. b. you must: a. d.

D. 9. D. D. 2. 3. 8. 6. 10. C 36 | V I R G I N I A D R I V E R ’ S M A N U A L . C. D. 4. C. A.Section 8: Sample Knowledge Exam Correct Answers 1. 7. A. A. 5.

.Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles P O. Virginia 23269 (804) 497-7100 This manual is an informational tool. Title 46. To view Virginia’s motor vehicle laws.2. Box 27412 . It does not supercede the Code of Virginia. refer to the Virginia Code. Virginia Administrative Code or any other statute. Richmond. Please recycle.

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